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Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
Milhouse Van Houten, Rod Flanders, Jimbo Jones, and others
Maude Flanders, Helen Lovejoy, Miss Hoover, and others
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others
Music From This Episode
"It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones (Heard during party)
"The Look of Love" by Diana Krall (Heard during party)
"That's the Way (I Like It)" by KC and The Sunshine Band (Heard during party)
There is a picture of a fisherman with the very large shark he landed in the bait shop. There is also a sign that says "Leaches for sale" (as opposed to "Leeches").
Recipe for Flanders' Planter's Punch: Three shots of rum, a jigger of bourbon, and just a dab-a-roo of creme de cassis for flavor.
Goof: When Maggie was trying to climb onto the table, the color Maggie's outfit was blue, but afterwards when the parents run out of the dining room in a panic, Maggie's outfit has turned pink.
Goof: Homer rows back with both paddles in good condition even though he broke one on General Sherman's head.
Homer: I'm sorry honey, can't we just forget about last night and go to church?
Marge: I'm going to church alone today! You are going to stay here and explain to Bart why you scarred him for life!
Homer: (Defensively) No I didn't! I... oh, you mean inside, don't you?
Homer: (after catching "General Sherman") I am the champion, I am the champion, no time for losers, 'cause I am the champion, of the world! (sees an angry Marge waiting for him) Uh-oh...
Lovejoy: Come on Homer what are her faults?
Homer: Well sometimes she can be annoying!
Marge: Oh Homer.
Lovejoy: Now Marge, don't interrupt, you'll get your turn.
Homer: I'm done.
Lovejoy: Okay, Marge.
Marge: Well… its not that I don't love the guy, I'm always sticking up for him, it's just that he's so self-centered. He forgets birthdays, anniversaries, holidays. He chews with his mouth open, he gambles, he hangs out at a seedy bar with bums and low lifes.
Homer: Oh it's true!
Lovejoy: Homer don't interrupt.
Marge: He blows his nose on the towels and then puts them back in the middle!
Homer: I only did that a couple of times!
Reverend Lovejoy: Ned, Maude, what brings you here?
Ned: Well... sometimes God bless her, she underlines passages in my bible because she can't find hers!
Homer: Oh, lucky you don't keep guns in the house.
Reverend Lovejoy: Homer, why are you here?
Homer: Oh, because I got drunk and looked down her dress!
Marge: Well I was thinking... do you think you could babysit the kids this weekend, I wouldn't ask, but we're desperate.
Grampa: Oh suuuure! Last resort. Old Grandpa the feeb. The guy who can't be counted on for nothing knowhow dag-nammit. Everyone's against me! (Pause) I'll do it!
Homer: (drunk) Bart! Do that thing you do that's so cute!
Homer: That thing you know how to do!
Homer: (pause) Go to bed!
Marge: Go easy on the al-key-hole.
Homer: Mmmm... horse doovers.
(He starts to help himself to the hors d'oeuvres, but Marge slaps his hand)
Marge: Homer! You promised!
Homer: I promised I wouldn't eat? Never! You lie!
Marge: Oh, they're here. How does everything look?
Homer: Yeah, how do I look?
Marge: Do we have enough glasses?
Homer: Do we have enough gag ice cubes?
Marge: Homer, Homer, put a record on.
Homer: What are all our friends' names again?
Marge: I like to think that I'm a patient, tolerant, woman and that there was no line you could ever cross that would make me stop loving you. But last night you didn't just cross that line, you threw up on it!
(Bart and Lisa's breakfast with Grampa)
Grampa: (Pours Lisa a cup of coffee) Sugar?
Lisa: (Nervous) Yes, ten please.
Bart: (Rattlin') Hey Grampa, top me off!
Grampa: Are you sure your Ma let you kids drink coffee?
Bart: FOR THE LAST TIME, YES!!!!
On the DVD commentary for this episode, Matt Groening reveals that he detested the moment when General Sherman jumped out of the water and winked at the audience. He fought to have it removed and lost.
Rejected material for this script included many couples who were supposed to be at the retreat instead of the Flanders'. Mr. Burns and his mail-order bride and Mrs. Krabappel trying to reunite with her estranged husband were just a few.
This episode was written by the staff of the show, but an unsolicited writer sent the staff a script that was almost perfectly the same story line. To avoid any trouble, the show "paid him $3000" and went forward with the story.
First Appearance: Snake. Also the first time Nelson laughs at someone in his traditional "Ha-Ha" line.
Blackboard Joke: I will not do anything bad again.
Couch Gag: Homer knocks everyone else off.
The Old Man and the Sea
Homer's marathon attempt at catching General Sherman, his bludgeoning of the fish and the line "I love you, but I have to kill you" are all based on Santiago's fight with the marlin in Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea.
The titles of pamphlets mentioned by Reverend Lovejoy in church are: "Satan's Boners" and "Good grief, more Satan's Boners!" This pairing of titles is based on the titles of a couple of Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip compilation books entitled: Peanuts and Good grief, more Peanuts!.
The War of the Roses
The title of this episode is a parody of the title of the 1989 film The War of the Roses.
Loch Ness Monster
The photo of General Sherman, the giant catfish, is a parody of the infamous "Loch Ness Monster" photo.
The scene where Bart chases the babysitter with the car along with the music, are a parody of a scene from the 1976 film The Omen.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
John and Gloria, the other couple at the marriage retreat, are parodied after a similar couple, George and Martha, from the 1966 film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
The song that Homer sings to himself after he catches General Sherman is a personal version of "We Are the Champions" by Queen.
The art style used in the scene in which Homer incorrectly recollects his behavior from the night before, is akin to Al Hirshfeld's drawings that were commonly used as covers for The New Yorker magazine. The cartoon specifically used for the scene is a representation of the Algonquin Round Table, a literary society group of the 1920's.
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